When a Heater Set This House on Fire – ADT Was There

When a Heater Set This House on Fire – ADT Was There

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 12.09.39 PMWhen a Heater Set This House on Fire – ADT Was There

When Lynn Smith’s daughter and two young grandchildren arrived from New Jersey for a visit, they had no idea what was in store for them. They were just excited to see Lynn and spend time at her home on Lake Owasco in New York state.

On the night of March 4th, Lynn’s daughter Kelly put her 10 month-old daughter to bed in a back bedroom of the home. It was a bit chilly, so Kelly turned on a space heater to warm the room. When baby Mila awoke around 2 AM, Kelly took her to her own bedroom. By doing so, she may have saved the infant’s life.

At about 5:30 in the morning, her ADT smoke detector went off, awakening Lynn. At first, she thought it might be a false alarm. However, she realized the crisis was real when dispatcher Amanda Willoughby called from ADT. At the same time, she smelled smoke and her daughter Kelly discovered the burning heater. Ms. Smith explained: “As it was burning, the panel burst into flames and it fell off the heating unit and fell on to the carpeting and caught the carpet on fire.”  

faulty heater fire

Ms. Willoughby had already called the fire department and was calling the Smith home to ensure that everyone was safely out of the house. As Ms. Smith remembered that call, she said, “She was my voice of reassurance that everything was going to be OK when I talked to her.” 

Because of the fire department’s quick action in response to Ms. Willoughby’s call, they had the fire out before it could do more than scorch the carpet and blacken several walls. Ms. Smith said: “As I watched the firefighters doing their jobs, I couldn’t help but think that if I didn’t have an ADT system in the house, the fire could have spread so quickly while we were sleeping and it could have been tragic.”

As it was, Lynn and Kelly had gotten baby Mila and 4 year-old Olivia out of the house after the warning call from Amanda. When Kelly called 911, she learned that firefighters were already on their way, thanks to ADT and dispatcher Amanda’s quick action.

See the heartwarming meeting of Lynn and her family’s ‘savior’, ADT dispatcher Amanda Willoughby, in this video. ADT flew Ms. Willoughby in from Knoxville, Tennessee specifically for the opportunity to meet the family she had helped save. 

Amanda was awarded the ADT Lifesaver for her part in saving the family from this potentially deadly fire. Her greatest reward, however, was in knowing that the family was safe and that Ms. Smith’s home was still standing.

Also on hand were first responders Assistant Chief Tom Notarpole and the other members of the Owasco Fire Department who saved Ms. Smith’s home. The fire department received $10,000 in grants from ADT and State Farm Insurance for their efforts. According to Fire Chief Chris Morabito, the department will use the grant money to buy an air compressor for filling breathing tanks for firefighters entering hazardous environments.

As a result of her family’s close call, Ms. Smith has installed smoke detectors in each bedroom. She explained the importance of having them in the bedrooms rather than just the hall: “…it might have bought us an extra 10-15 seconds, which is a lifetime in a fire.” 

According to Chief Morabito, an American dies in a house fire every two and a half hours. He adamantly recommends that every home have smoke detectors and believes that having them connected to a monitoring center like ADT offers an extra layer of protection and reassurance. 

If you would like the reassurance of knowing that ADT is ‘always there’ for your family, contact us. Just as we did for Ms. Smith and her family, we can help keep your family and home safe.

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